WASHINGTON — A Bush administration official was taking his cues from Jack Abramoff on redevelopment of the Old Post Office, a historic landmark in downtown Washington, prosecutors suggested Thursday.
In the first trial emerging from the Abramoff influence- peddling scandal, the government introduced dozens of e-mails between the now-convicted Abramoff and longtime friend David Safavian, who was chief of staff to the administrator of the General Services Administration.
Safavian is accused of five counts of lying to GSA investigators and a Senate committee about his relationship with Abramoff by saying that the lobbyist had no business before the agency. Based on Safavian's representations, the GSA allowed him to go on a weeklong golfing excursion with Abramoff to Scotland and London.
The GSA is the federal landlord, overseeing 8,000 buildings around the country including the Old Post Office on Pennsylvania Avenue, which Abramoff wanted to redevelop for some of his Indian tribal clients.